Image via CrunchBase"Recently an update may have been provided to you by Etisalat for your BlackBerry Handheld via a WAP push. The Etisalat update is not a RIM-authorized update and was not developed by RIM. Independent sources have concluded that the Etisalat update is not designed to improve performance of your BlackBerry Handheld, but rather to send received messages back to a central server. RIM has developed this software (“Software”) that will enable you to remove the Etisalat update."
Not my words, but the official words of the company that makes and enables BlackBerry handheld devices , RIM, on its own forum.
Particularly chilling are these words: "Independent sources have concluded that the Etisalat update is not designed to improve performance of your BlackBerry Handheld, but rather to send received messages back to a central server."
This directly contradicts the words of telco Etisalat, which made a formal statement to media last week, "These upgrades were required for service enhancements particularly for issues identified related to the handover between 2G to 3G network coverage areas."
But RIM goes a lot, lot further in its formal statement on the whole affair. In fact, the company says:
"RIM confirms that this software is not a patch and it is not a RIM authorized upgrade. RIM did not develop this software application and RIM was not involved in any way in the testing, promotion or distribution of this software application.
RIM further confirms, in general terms, that a third party patch cannot provide any enhancements to network services as there is no capability for third parties to develop or modify the low level radio communications protocols that would be involved in making such improvements to the communications between a BlackBerry smartphone and a carrier’s network.
In addition, RIM is not aware of any technical network concerns with the performance of BlackBerry smartphones on Etisalat’s network in the UAE."
So someone's been telling porkie pies, haven't they?
The link to BlackBerry's site is HERE and if you have a BlackBerry and implemented the update, you'll be relieved to know it contains a removal tool provided by RIM for its customers to use in getting rid of the performance-sapping software.
RIM has done the right thing - in contrast to security company SS8, the organisation presumed to have actually coded the software behind this awful little mess and which has maintained a total silence in the face of media requests. Similarly, etisalat's reaction (ignore it all and hope it goes away) has hardly been customer focused - people are still helping each other with 'broken' BlackBerries and Twitter is still ringing with plaintive Tweets for help from grounded BB users.
Do get the word out to friends and family that an 'official' fix is now available to roll back the update and, belatedly, ameliorate the impact on users of this muckle-headed catastrophe.
Etisalat still has 145,000 people to answer to, BTW... And, one rather suspects, a media that will be baying for its blood...
Link to the RIM statement, hosted on the Chirashi Security blog, HERE. Enjoy!